Realtor Review: Ryan Homes & Mar-Flex

April 14th, 2013


Join Darren Burke from Keller Williams Launch Sales Team as he discusses how Ryan Homes is eliminating wet basements by using a product designed by Mar-Flex called Geo-Mat and Marflex 5000 designed to eliminate wet basements in new home construction in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

Marflex 5000 provides a total membrane barrier on poured wall foundations and the Geo-Mat membrane material is designed to keep water away from the brick foundation and assist directing it downward to the footer drain and taken away from the home.

Darren Burke (Realtor) goes to one of Ryan Homes new projects in Mentor (Northeastern Ohio) called Marshview Landing and shows how this product works. Darren Burke has worked with new construction builders over the last 25 years of his career and likes to keep up with the latest innovations in building to assist his clients in making good real estate choices.

Launch Sales Team is a small real estate team in the Greater Cleveland Northeastern Ohio market that is focuses on using technology to help sell homes. Operating with a Warrior’s Spirit and a Servant’s Heart, Darren Burke knows how to help both sellers and buyers in this changing market.

Mortgage industry fares well in fiscal cliff deal, debt forgiveness law survives

January 10th, 2013

The mortgage industry can breath a sigh of relief with the final fiscal cliff deal bringing back a popular tax break on mortgage insurance premiums and debt forgiveness for borrowers who go through a short-sale or some other type of debt reduction.

A topic that is still up for discussion and likely to surface later in the year is whether the popular mortgage interest tax deduction will be part of a long-term deficit reduction plan.

Still, the deal passed by the Senate and House on Jan. 1 is one that leaves room for hope in the housing market.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 apparently extends a law that expired at the end of 2011, which allowed for the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, according to a research report from Isaac Boltansky withCompass Point Research & Trading. The law now applies to fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

“The law dictates that eligible borrowers who itemize their federal tax returns and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $100,000 per year can deduct 100% of their annual mortgage insurance premiums,” Compass Point said.

“Certain borrowers with AGIs above $100,000 may benefit from the deductibility as well but are subject to a sliding scale. The tax break covers private mortgage insurance as well as mortgage insurance provided by the FHA, the VA, and the Rural Housing Service. In 2009, about 3.6 million taxpayers claimed the mortgage insurance deduction,” the research firm added.

One of the more watched provisions of the fiscal cliff was the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which was set to expire on Dec. 31.

The fiscal cliff deal extends it for another year, meaning homeowners who experience a debt reduction through mortgage principal forgiveness or a short sale are exempt from being taxed on the forgiven amount.

“The amount extends up to $2 million of debt forgiven on the homeowner’s principal residence,” Compass Point Research & Trading said. “For homeowner’s to qualify, their debt must have been used to ‘buy, build, or substantially improve’ their principal residence and be secured by that residence. The law, which was passed in 2007 with a 5-year sunset provision, will now be in effect until Jan. 1, 2014.”

Another minor win for housing is a provision tied to the government’s plan to increase the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 20% for individuals who earn more than $400,000. While in theory, this is harder on higher-income homeowners, Compass Point sees a silver lining through an exclusion.

Compass Point notes the law “states that only gains of more than $250,000 for individuals ($500k for households) are subject to taxes on the excess portion of capital gains. Point being, in order for an individual homeowner to be impacted by the increased capital gains tax rate they would need to have an adjusted gross income above $400,000 and gain more than $250,000 from the sale of the property. Since this exclusion threshold remained intact, the impact of the capital gains tax increase is limited.”


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac HAFA Short Sale Program Expiration

December 18th, 2012

The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program will expire on December 31, 2012.  A cutoff date of December 14, 2012, has been established for all Short Sale Agreements to be issued out to the borrower for files without an offer.

Your client/borrower(s) may still be accepted into the program if a fully executed Short Sale Agreement is received and uploaded into Equator on or before December 31, 2012. Files with an offer can no longer be initiated for a HAFA short sale.

Files that do not meet the requirements above will be declined from HAFA participation and will then be considered for Bank of America’s Cooperative Short Sale program or a traditional short sale.

Note: After December 31, 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac files can be initiated into the Cooperative Short Sale or traditional short sale process. Homeowners may be eligible for relocation assistance under these programs.

41 AG’s Appeal to Congress

December 1st, 2012

Forty-one state attorneys general recently signed a letter appealing to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to extend the Mortgage Debt Relief of 2007 past its current expiration date of of December 31, 2012.…

Failure to extend would weaken the act

The attorneys general believe that allowing the act to expire would weaken the National Mortgage Settlement Act passed earlier this year which prevents homeowners from having to pay taxes on debt that lenders agreed to forgive as a result of home foreclosures, short sales or, loan modifications.

The settlement was announced in February between 49 state attorneys general with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial. Oklahoma’s attorney general chose not to sign the settlement or the letter.

“Requiring a homeowner to pay income taxes on forgiven or canceled mortgage debt would make the National Mortgage Settlement much less effective,” the letter asserts.

Bad timing for expiration

In a release, Catherine Masto, Nevada attorney general, stated that the act is set to expire at a time when homeowners are receiving benefits from the national settlement mortgage, signed earlier this year, which obligates the five of the nation’s largest mortgage services to pay $20 billion in credited relief to consumers. One of the stipulations of the act is that the relief must be provided before March 2015.

Masto further said, “I urge Congress to extend this critical tax exclusion so that families are not stuck with an unexpected tax bill or deterred from participating in this historic settlement.”

Tax increases could result

In addition, the letter states that Congress’ failure to extend the bill could result in tax increases up to $1.3 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Joseph Smith, the settlement monitor, reported that as of September 12, 2012, the servicers have provided $13.1 billion in relief from short sales, averaging approximately $115,672 per borrower. Also, 21,833 borrowers received a first lien reduction modification and $2.55 billion in relief, averaging $116,929 per borrower.

Sources: The Examiner (

Get Ready!

September 15th, 2012

Soon, this blog is going to be filled with informative educational information about all aspects of Real Estate!